Key info to know before Nov. 8 elections

Maggie Eubanks

The midterm elections are fast approaching. But many students are unsure of what the significance the midterm elections hold and what they will actually be voting on.

Focusing on the election in Louisiana, there are six Representative races and one Senate race on the ballot on Nov. 8. 

The incumbent Senator, the Senator currently in office, whose seat is up for election is John Kennedy. Incumbent Representatives who will have to fight for their seats are Steve Scalise from District 1, Troy Carter from District 2, Clay Higgins from District 3, Mike Johnson running unopposed in District 4, Julia Letlow in District 5 and Garret Graves in District 6.

Also on the ballot will be eight new amendments. The amendments portion of a ballot can be confusing, but it is vitally important to make a choice on the ballot because the amendments—if passed—will be written into the Louisiana Constitution.

The amendments are broken down here so voters can more clearly understand the choice they want to make when they see their ballots in November.

Amendment 1: Voting yes allows Louisiana officials to invest more state money in stocks. Voting no will maintain the current percentage allowed at 35%.

Amendment 2: Voting yes will decrease property taxes for disabled veterans. Voting no will keep the tax decrease disabled veterans already receive the same.

Amendment 3: Voting yes will allow civil service employees to support immediate family members in political elections. Voting no will maintain the current rules of not allowing support.

Amendment 4: Voting yes will allow local governments to waive any charges to water customers when the line is damaged by no fault of the customer. Voting no will restrict governments from waving charges.

Amendment 5: Voting yes will allow the government to raise taxes based on the current year’s numbers. Voting no will restrict the government to the maximum amount allowed in the previous year.

Amendment 6: This amendment will only affect residents of Orleans Parish. Voting yes will make tax exemptions on homeowners receiving the homestead exemption rely on the previous year’s numbers. Voting no will keep the current law the same where the tax exemption is only changed every four years.

Amendment 7: Voting yes will prohibit convicted criminals from being subject to involuntary servitude. Voting no will stay with the current law and allow involuntary servitude.

Amendment 8: Voting yes will change the requirements for property owners receiving the homestead exemption. Permanently disabled individuals would no longer be subject to a yearly assessment if the amendment passes. Voting no will keep with current rules that everyone receiving the exemption is subject to a yearly special assessment.

For students unsure of how they will cast their vote on Nov. 8, early voting opens on Oct. 25, which is the Tuesday of Fall Break. Students can visit the online voter portal for Louisiana to find the early-voting location in their parish.

Louisiana voters can also request mail-in ballots until Nov. 4, as long as they are returned by Nov. 7. Voters not from Louisiana should check their own state’s deadlines for early voting and mail-in ballots.